09.08.2017_No157 / News in Brief

NRC Staff Directed To Gather Information In Preparation For Yucca Restart

Waste Management

9 Aug (NucNet): NRC commissioners have directed the commission’s staff to spend up to $110,000 (€93,000) of Nuclear Waste Fund money on information-gathering aimed at preparing for the resumption of the Yucca Mountain deep geologic repository licensing review.

The Yucca Mountain site in Nevada.

The NRC said in a statement on 8 August 2017 that the staff would hold a virtual meeting of an advisory panel and begin a review of potential hearing sites.

The statement said that as of 30 June 2017, the NRC had approximately $634,000 in remaining unobligated Nuclear Waste Fund appropriations.

The virtual meeting of the licensing support network (LSN) advisory review panel aims to provide information to, and gather input from, advisory panel members and the public regarding reconstitution of the licensing support network or a suitable replacement system, the NRC said.

The LSN was an electronic database of nearly four million documents supporting the positions of parties to the adjudicatory hearing on the Department of Energy’s application for an NRC licence for a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.

Yucca Mountain has been studied by the US government since the 1970s as a potential repository for nuclear waste and billions of dollars have been spent on the project.

But it has never opened for business because of legal challenges and opposition from local politicians, environmentalists and Native American groups.

The DOE dismantled the Yucca programme in 2010, two years after it submitted a repository application to the NRC, saying Nevada’s opposition made the site unworkable.

The NRC suspended its application review in 2011 and decommissioned the LSN.

Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers):

  • House Committee Spending Bill Includes Funding for Yucca Mountain (News in Brief No.139, 14 July 2017)

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NucNet

Editor:

David Dalton

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